Boxing
Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer 130d

Golden Boy issues final offer, deadline to Gennady Golovkin for Canelo Alvarez rematch

Boxing

Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez are done waiting around for unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin to finalize a deal for their rematch.

Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN on Tuesday that the company has issued Golovkin and promoter Tom Loeffler an improved final offer and that he has until 12 p.m. PT on Wednesday to accept the offer for the HBO PPV main event on Sept. 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas or walk away from perhaps the biggest money fight in boxing.

Gomez said the final offer is a 57½-42½ split in Alvarez's favor, and if Golovkin doesn't accept it they will continue working to finalize a deal for Alvarez to face former secondary middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs on Sept. 15 instead.

"This is final," Gomez said. "We've been through everything. We've been through the hoops, the monkey bars, the slides. No more playing games. He has until noon (PT) to accept or walk away. If he walks away, good luck to him.

"We've gone above and beyond to make this fight happen. Canelo really wants to make this fight happen for the fans. (Golden Boy CEO) Oscar (De La Hoya) really wants to make it for the fans and everyone involved and we're meeting him halfway."

When Alvarez and Golovkin fought to a disputed draw in September in a fight most thought Golovkin won, Alvarez got the lion's share of a 70-30 split.

When Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) failed two drug tests in February for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol and was suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the rematch, scheduled for May 5 at the T-Mobile Arena, was canceled and the fighters traded harsh words. Golovkin faced short-notice replacement Vanes Martirosyan in Carson, California, instead and wiped him out in two rounds. Then the sides turned their attention toward trying to put the rematch back together for the fall.

They cleared a major obstacle when Alvarez signed up for year-round Voluntary Anti-Doping Association testing 24/7/365 and then eventually agreed on a 65-35 split in Alvarez's favor.

Weeks later, Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) had a change of heart and insisted on redoing the deal on a 50-50 split. De La Hoya eventually increased Golovkin's share to 40 percent, but GGG continued to stand firm on parity, at which point De La Hoya declared that the "Canelo train has left the station" and that he was moving on to try to close a deal for the fight with Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs), who gave GGG a very tough fight in a close decision loss in March 2017.

That declaration from De La Hoya got Golovkin to lower his demands to 55-45, but Golden Boy would not give him that much, instead agreeing to split the difference at 57½-42½.

"Our original deal in May for the rematch was 35 percent to Golovkin. Then they wanted 50-50, which was ridiculous to begin with," Gomez said. "But in consideration we're willing to meet them halfway. I got off the phone (on Tuesday afternoon) with Tom Loeffler and told him you have 24 hours to accept or we are fighting Danny Jacobs."

Loeffler told ESPN that Golovkin is in Moscow to attend the opening ceremonies of the World Cup as a guest of one of his sponsors so he was not immediately able to talk to Golovkin about the offer because of the time difference. But Loeffler said he was going to email him and follow up with a call when it's Wednesday morning in Moscow.

"Gennady was very clear when he made the concession to come off 50-50. He really feels in his heart it should be an even split," Loeffler said "He made the concession at 55-45. Gennady is the one who will make the final decision, so I will give him an update on it and see what he wants to do. My opinion is it's the biggest fight in boxing and both sides should figure out a way to make it work."

The first fight generated 1.3 million pay-per-view buys and a $27 million gate -- the third-biggest in boxing history. Most project that a rematch would beat both figures and that Golovkin would earn more than $40 million. He made about $1 million to fight Martirosyan.

"Tom said he will talk to Gennady and see if we can get him to budge. He's trying," Gomez said. "He's been a gentleman to me through all of this. Basically, it's an ungodly amount of money being offered to Golovkin that he will never see again if he walks away. He could make maybe 10 times more money for this fight than any other fight he decides to take. (Top Rank chairman) Bob Arum once said, 'You can't spend a percentage' and he is right. Oscar and I have discussed it. He's discussed it with Canelo and it's been long enough. We've waited since early April to get everything back on track. We've had countless conversations. I think Canelo is being very reasonable, above and beyond reasonable, as well as Oscar. You can lead a donkey to water but you can't make him drink."

Gomez said he has remained in touch with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who represents Jacobs, and has kept him up to date on the situation.

"Eddie Hearn is anxious to get the fight done for Jacobs," Gomez said. "I have made him aware there is a possibility of a Golovkin fight because I don't want to mislead him. But we're within striking distance of being able to make the Canelo fight with Jacobs if Golovkin walks away."

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